CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: The "tree of traditions" project

Thursday, April 16, 2009

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The "tree of traditions" project

So, Ive been thinking of a project.

I developed the initial stages in rough draft, naivete included.

Its like a family tree, only the family is the entire Afro-Cuban musical tradition.

Yes, we all know we wont be including everything, as much is not available to the uninitiated. But this project will be created to be edited. The hope is that the project will be a good start to a graphic understanding of the peoples and thier specific musical traditions, in Cuba from 1970 to today, religious or recreational.

It's easier to illustrate graphically... some day soon, I'll post a picture of the tree in its raw form.

I know this is going to stir up some people who think no-one but Cubans should be doing work like this, or there is something clearly wrong with someone of European decent doing a project like this..

Remember people, this project will be yours. The intention is to attract many people with varied knowledge and expertise to further develop this into something useful to future generations.

so, what is this thing... this tree....


Starts with mother Africa... then to the geographic regions (ie Congo, Yorubaland, etc.), then peoples in general(Yoruban, Efik, for example), then traditions (Abakua, Arara, etc.), then specific rhythms, dances and songs.

Imagine a tree, with Africa at the top, and various rhythms at the bottom (Yambu, Arara Mase etc.)

Then, imagine a page on your computer, with the entire tree on one screen.

So, you can zoom into any section of the tree... say Comparsas from Santiago de Cuba, for example, and you see a page with links to video, maps, historical information, pictures, audio, references, etc.

Or, say you zoom into just the Dehome section.. you will see information about the people, their traditions in general (Arara, for example) Pics, video, etc.

It would have to be in Flash, or something... Im going to have to find a developer who needs conga lessons!

I do think this would be a great thing to leave our future generations. I know I'd be stoked to use it, as a student of this musical tradition.



  1. great idea... and it could be a living tree that always grows with documentation, art, music and lyrics.

  2. Nice idea Tony!

    Maybe you can try starting off with a powerpoint-type presentation on

    That way it can be edited by whoever you want and when you are satisfied with it you can hand it over to the developer for the Flash treatment. Maybe it could be a flow-chart at first but then be turned into a tree later.

    Good luck with it!


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